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Old 09-19-2006, 08:18 PM   #31
greg_burns
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodshal
If you find a unit that will stripe/jbod/raid multiple drives and that presents the array as a single SATA device, that would be uber cool. I've not really looked, yet, though.
There seems to be a good selection of such devices. Some much more $$$ than others.

Here is one I have my eye on.
http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16822102002

I have a SataVault on loan from work that seems kinda loud, but they may be dependent more on the drives than the enclosure.
http://www.satagear.com/SV-2RSA1_SATA_RAID.html
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:53 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodshal
Not convinced it will, since that unit I think presents mutiple drives on different device ID's. Would need support in the TiVo software, which I doubt they'll do.
You're correct, it is just a way of hanging extra drives. The port multiplier will only work if they write the driver to support more than 2 drives. It would be a lot simpler and cheaper than one of the hardware raid solutions.

Of course even the RAID solutions will only work if they allow large physical drives. Even XP has a 2 TB limit.
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:52 AM   #33
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so whats the answer from tivo?
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Old 09-20-2006, 04:41 AM   #34
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I already got the data from TiVo and put it in the review and FAQ and past threads - nothing has changed in the past week.

eSATA is 'future' - no commitment for 'November', I don't know where that came from. They will not give out an date beyond 'future'. It was not included in the launch strictly as a development schedule measure, it wasn't felt to be a critical feature for product launch. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Cable Labs.

As for the implementation - based on conversations at CES:
1. The drive is wed to the unit. You cannot take the drive to another S3.
2. Shows will be striped across the drives just like a unit with two drives today.
3. If you unplug the drive then any shows with data on the external drive are gone. The unit will still function, of course. What wasn't clear at the time is if you can reconnect the drive and get those shows back, but that was likely.
4. You cannot swap multiple eSATA drives back and forth as a libary.
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Old 09-20-2006, 05:33 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryInPhoenix
The port multiplier will only work if they write the driver to support more than 2 drives.
A port multiplier requires a PM-aware host, which I don't think the Broadcom chip is. It's a hardware limitation, not driver.
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:51 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasGrillChef
herfmonster

why just use 500gb hard drives? why not go for the 750gb hard drives from Seagate.
That way you could have 3 Terabytes not just 2

TexasGrillChef
Seagate drives are LOUD, as they have no acoustic management capabilities.
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Old 09-20-2006, 10:02 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobCamp1
Seagate drives are LOUD, as they have no acoustic management capabilities.
There are some that are not loud. The fact that it has no acoustic management support in and of itself doesn't mean its loud. It all depends on the default acoustic sound they hard code into the drive firmware. But I would agree, you have to be careful because most of the Seagate drives are set for performance and not for sound.
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Old 09-20-2006, 11:37 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megazone
As for the implementation - based on conversations at CES:

...

3. If you unplug the drive then any shows with data on the external drive are gone. The unit will still function, of course. What wasn't clear at the time is if you can reconnect the drive and get those shows back, but that was likely.
This is the information I'm most interested in. My hope is that after the drive is reconnected you can indeed get those shows back. However, I'm curious what the "stripe" recovery process will be, for example, if the eSATA drive dies.

Example: You record a four hour baseball game and the "stripes" for this recording occupy space on the internal and external. For the sake of argument, let's say it's 50% on each drive. Suddenly your eSATA drive dies.

Based on what we already know, you can't watch the ball game because half the data is not there.

But will the title for the ball game still appear in the Now Playing List?

If it does appear, will you be allowed to delete the title, which would free up the striped data for this title that resides on the internal drive?

If it doesn't appear in the list, how can you delete the recording and recover that space? Or will TiVo have some kind of time-sensitive internal recovery process, for example: the eSATA drive has been disconnected for XXX hours so it will free up al stripe data associated with the external drive?
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Old 09-20-2006, 12:06 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew2k
This is the information I'm most interested in. My hope is that after the drive is reconnected you can indeed get those shows back. However, I'm curious what the "stripe" recovery process will be, for example, if the eSATA drive dies.

Example: You record a four hour baseball game and the "stripes" for this recording occupy space on the internal and external. For the sake of argument, let's say it's 50% on each drive. Suddenly your eSATA drive dies.

Based on what we already know, you can't watch the ball game because half the data is not there.

But will the title for the ball game still appear in the Now Playing List?

If it does appear, will you be allowed to delete the title, which would free up the striped data for this title that resides on the internal drive?

If it doesn't appear in the list, how can you delete the recording and recover that space? Or will TiVo have some kind of time-sensitive internal recovery process, for example: the eSATA drive has been disconnected for XXX hours so it will free up al stripe data associated with the external drive?
someplace there is a post that described the situation as the box will prompt you if the extrenal drive gets disconnected or dies. It would ask if you want to kill off the recordings that span onto that drive or do you want to reconnect it to get the recordings back. I got the impression that you had to pick then and there if you were going to kill off thesecond drive or not. SO if you accidently unplugged it or somethign the tivo would reconnect but it wasn't like you cold pull the drive and then come back in a week and reconnect it.

nothin official- I think it was based on Pony's comments in vegas- but it made sense when i read it...
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Old 09-20-2006, 12:11 PM   #40
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Since its not available yet, its possible none of this has even been decided or worked out yet. So any information now would be pure speculation.
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Old 09-20-2006, 12:51 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainwater
There are some that are not loud. The fact that it has no acoustic management support in and of itself doesn't mean its loud. It all depends on the default acoustic sound they hard code into the drive firmware. But I would agree, you have to be careful because most of the Seagate drives are set for performance and not for sound.
There is NO acoustic firmware in the Seagate drive to even program! I agree that some drives with acoustic managment are still loud, but I haven't heard of a quiet consumer-level Seagate hard drive in a long time. But people consider different things to be "noise" -- ultimately a consumer needs to just try it and see if its quiet enough for him.

Also, larger hard drives tend to be noisier than smaller ones, but two quiet hard drives may be noisier than one large one. It just depends on the models.

My advice is to buy from a place that accepts returns on opened hard drives, and save the receipt.
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:44 PM   #42
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Got my Series 3 up and running today. Connected the eSATA external drive from my SA 8300HD using same procedure as connecting to 8300HD and got nothing. No indication that TIVO recognized the eSATA port had a connection. Plugged the drive back into my 8300HD with no problem. So, now it's a waiting game for port to be active.

Regarding how TIVO will split programs between internal and external drives, won't know till port is active but I suspect the software will not split a single program between both drives in case of a single drive failure. This is how 8300HD handles data and makes logical sense. Unfortunately the not-so-smart user interface still sees the program in its library file (which is stored on the main drive) and displays it on screen. Clicking play button simply has no effect. Expect TIVO to detect no external disk is active and gray out or blank out programs stored there.

TIVO should think this through from the user's perspective and provide detailed guidance, along with list of compatible drives, cases, and cables.

Cheers.
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:56 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djones18
Got my Series 3 up and running today. Connected the eSATA external drive from my SA 8300HD using same procedure as connecting to 8300HD and got nothing. No indication that TIVO recognized the eSATA port had a connection. Plugged the drive back into my 8300HD with no problem. So, now it's a waiting game for port to be active.
What software and version are you running on the SA8300HD?
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Old 09-20-2006, 02:21 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobCamp1
There is NO acoustic firmware in the Seagate drive to even program!
Yes, that is the point. Seagate however sets the acoustics in the drive in the factory. It doesn't use the AAM standard, but they can definately set acoustics in the drives. I never said AAM was enabled in Seagates (since they are not going to pay the license fee). Just because it doesn't have AAM doesn't mean Seagate doesn't tailor certain drives for performance and some for sound.
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:32 PM   #45
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Somewhere there was posted an interview in a publication with someone from TiVo engineering where I think I remember his discussing the challenges of modifying the file system. Those comments reveal some of what they might be planning.

Anyone remember?
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:13 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyD79
What software and version are you running on the SA8300HD?

Software and ver: SARA 1.87.16.1

After lots of trial and error, hard drives having the following specs seem to have the fewest problems when connected to HD/DVRs:

Drive Type: SATA or SATA II
Capacity: 500GB or less (limitation in Cablebox software)
Speed: 7200RPM (mixed results with 5400RPM)
Cache: 16.0MB Buffer (some getting results with 8.0MB)
Drive Enclosure and cabling : eSATA (SATA II) (enclosure w/fan is preferable but not essential)

I'd think TIVO would have similar specs to ensure the external drive system can handle encrypted HD video data rates and storage requirement glitchfree.

Cheers.
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:00 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainwater
Since its not available yet, its possible none of this has even been decided or worked out yet. So any information now would be pure speculation.
This is correct, it's not available yet. I haven't posted in this thread, because there's nothing to say that I haven't said already. Given that, there have been much more important issues that I've dedicated my time to.

Demanding that I post the details on something that isn't available yet...that seldom produces the result you're asking for.

I do need to correct one thing:

Quote:
Originally Posted by megazone
It has nothing whatsoever to do with Cable Labs.
MegaZone is correct 99.99999% of the time, but in this case, well...he wasn't. Probably some miscommunicaton from someone on our team, I don't know. But in a CableCard device digital content can only be moved off of the box through approved outputs with approved content protection technology, including transfers to an external drive. We have submitted our protection technology to CableLabs for their consideration.

They're not bad guys over at CableLabs, and while the blame game is fun, it's not warranted. We look forward to continuing to offer improvements to the Series3, and we are working with them on it.

Cheers,
Pony
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:20 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVoPony
This is correct, it's not available yet. I haven't posted in this thread, because there's nothing to say that I haven't said already. Given that, there have been much more important issues that I've dedicated my time to.

Demanding that I post the details on something that isn't available yet...that seldom produces the result you're asking for.

I do need to correct one thing:



MegaZone is correct 99.99999% of the time, but in this case, well...he wasn't. Probably some miscommunicaton from someone on our team, I don't know. But in a CableCard device digital content can only be moved off of the box through approved outputs with approved content protection technology, including transfers to an external drive. We have submitted our protection technology to CableLabs for their consideration.

They're not bad guys over at CableLabs, and while the blame game is fun, it's not warranted. We look forward to continuing to offer improvements to the Series3, and we are working with them on it.

Cheers,
Pony
Pony - While disappointed to hear this, I appreciate you making a statement on the issue. My fear is that we're going be waiting a long, long time for the eSATA port to be enabled if you're at the mercy of CableLabs making a decision.
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:20 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVoPony
..... We have submitted our protection technology to CableLabs for their consideration.
....

Cheers,
Pony
anychance you are allowed to say when you guys submitted it to cablelabs for their consideration?
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:27 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVoPony
This is correct, it's not available yet. I haven't posted in this thread, because there's nothing to say that I haven't said already. Given that, there have been much more important issues that I've dedicated my time to.

Demanding that I post the details on something that isn't available yet...that seldom produces the result you're asking for.

I do need to correct one thing:



MegaZone is correct 99.99999% of the time, but in this case, well...he wasn't. Probably some miscommunicaton from someone on our team, I don't know. But in a CableCard device digital content can only be moved off of the box through approved outputs with approved content protection technology, including transfers to an external drive. We have submitted our protection technology to CableLabs for their consideration.

They're not bad guys over at CableLabs, and while the blame game is fun, it's not warranted. We look forward to continuing to offer improvements to the Series3, and we are working with them on it.

Cheers,
Pony

Thank you for your detailed information.

I do appreciate it.


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Old 09-22-2006, 12:40 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaLivingRoom
Thank you for your detailed information.

I do appreciate it.

Who are you, and what have you done with the real MediaLivingRoom?
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Old 09-22-2006, 01:54 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVoPony
... MegaZone is correct 99.99999% ...
Who the heck is the MegaZone guy?
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Old 09-22-2006, 02:23 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djones18
Software and ver: SARA 1.87.16.1

After lots of trial and error, hard drives having the following specs seem to have the fewest problems when connected to HD/DVRs:

Drive Type: SATA or SATA II
Capacity: 500GB or less (limitation in Cablebox software)
Speed: 7200RPM (mixed results with 5400RPM)
Cache: 16.0MB Buffer (some getting results with 8.0MB)
Drive Enclosure and cabling : eSATA (SATA II) (enclosure w/fan is preferable but not essential)

I'd think TIVO would have similar specs to ensure the external drive system can handle encrypted HD video data rates and storage requirement glitchfree.

Cheers.
Have you heard of success with SATA and Passport software with SA8300?
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Old 09-22-2006, 07:42 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skanter
Have you heard of success with SATA and Passport software with SA8300?

Passport software (versus SARA software) used by many Cablecos in SA 8300HD/DVRs has not supported external drives until recently. I've heard of a few successes but they are based on the city and the Passport version folks are using. For example, Kansas City Cableco and New York City Time Warner Cable uses Passport version 2.5.066 and some folks successfully connected their external SATA drives.

My advice is contact your Cableco and ask if their software is activated to support external drives. Unfortunately many Cablecos treat external drive issues like they have Series 3 cablecard issues. Accurate answers are hard to get.

Bringing this back to the Series 3 external drive subject, the technical challenges to move encrypted video to an external drive and ensure a seamless user experience are far more significant than simply connecting an external hard drive to a computer USB port.

When TIVO activates their SATA port there will be a huge third party combination of hard drives, enclosures, and cables to choose which can be connected. TIVO's close collaboration with the user community to accurately articulate the specs and provide very specific connection/startup guidance may eliminate the hit-and-miss approach we've experienced making our existing Cableco HD/DVRs work with external drives.

Cheers.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:21 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bodshal
If you find a unit that will stripe/jbod/raid multiple drives and that presents the array as a single SATA device, that would be uber cool. I've not really looked, yet, though.
1) It's called a RAID array
2) A good one is not cheap
3) JBOD just shows every disk individually, so it would not present them as a single drive.

I want one of the RAIDs that my company uses - 16 Bay X 400GB drives. More than 6 TB.
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Old 09-22-2006, 08:35 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djones18
Regarding how TIVO will split programs between internal and external drives, won't know till port is active but I suspect the software will not split a single program between both drives in case of a single drive failure. This is how 8300HD handles data and makes logical sense.
It may sound like common sense but if you think about it, it is not logical to store shows on a "per drive" basis, both from a security standpoint and from performance standpoint.

With one internal drive, there is no choice but to write to that drive. With two drives, there is a significant performance gain from striping the data across both drives. Also, you cannot take that drive to another computer and "crack" the file system to copy shows.

Also, it's a good idea to stripe to keep a balance between drives. If you have 250GB internal and 750GB external, if you are not striping, you may end up with a lot of unused space on the internal drive that you cannot use because a show would take up more space than the drive allows.

For instance, without striping, and assuming you have only 4GB left on each drive, if you want to record show that would end up taking up 7 GB, you cannot do it until you free up space on one of the drives. With striping, that 8GB of net space is usable.

My company stripes video in this way specifically for this purpose (and others). You maximize the usable space on your storage media.
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Old 09-22-2006, 09:38 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicX
1) It's called a RAID array
2) A good one is not cheap
3) JBOD just shows every disk individually, so it would not present them as a single drive.

I want one of the RAIDs that my company uses - 16 Bay X 400GB drives. More than 6 TB.

I use this device on my media computer to store my videos and music. I can't really afford to lose all that stuff as re-ripping my music collection alone would cost me money in the time it would take. http://www.sansdigital.com/MS2UT.htm It's an eSata/USB2.0 drive bay system, it has two bays, and can mirror the drives and present itself as only one, or stripe them. I played around with two drives in a mirror, failed by extracting a drive, then re-inserted... it recovered just fine, and the onscreen display, while bright, had all the important info readily at hand. You also can't accidentally extract a drive, as you need a key, which is nothing more than a long thin rod to push into the hole to pop the latch.

I Have been pleased with the performance, it is a little loud, but you can get some longer eSata cables these days and put it just about anywhere. It runs cool and seems to be very fast. They also have a 5 bay unit which can do raid 5, but it's significantly more expensive.

What I'm thinking, is forget about eSata, and just extend the on-board Sata out of the box and into a box like this. Then put a second drive in and you have mirroring instantly. No worry about downtime. Or put larger drives and either stripe if you so desire, or mirror, which would be my first choice. I hate losing data.

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Old 09-22-2006, 09:42 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicX
It may sound like common sense but if you think about it, it is not logical to store shows on a "per drive" basis, both from a security standpoint and from performance standpoint.

With one internal drive, there is no choice but to write to that drive. With two drives, there is a significant performance gain from striping the data across both drives. Also, you cannot take that drive to another computer and "crack" the file system to copy shows.

Also, it's a good idea to stripe to keep a balance between drives. If you have 250GB internal and 750GB external, if you are not striping, you may end up with a lot of unused space on the internal drive that you cannot use because a show would take up more space than the drive allows.

For instance, without striping, and assuming you have only 4GB left on each drive, if you want to record show that would end up taking up 7 GB, you cannot do it until you free up space on one of the drives. With striping, that 8GB of net space is usable.

My company stripes video in this way specifically for this purpose (and others). You maximize the usable space on your storage media.


ClassicX,

Technically your explanation makes sense as I'm no expert on striping video. However, if video programs are striped across both drives, do you loose your ability to play any striped video program if one of the drives fails? If so, from a practical end users perspective I'd rather loose just a few programs than my entire library if one disk drive fails.

Taking the external drive to another computer or DVR to crack the data or play the program is a significant issue. Current Cableco HD/DVRs reformat the external drive on first connection and lock that drive to the DVR for encryption and data storage. The encrypted data on that drive cannot be read by connecting it to another DVR or a computer. There is some risk here but apparently one the Cablecos can live with for now.


Cheers.
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:01 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djones18
ClassicX,

Technically your explanation makes sense as I'm no expert on striping video. However, if video programs are striped across both drives, do you loose your ability to play any striped video program if one of the drives fails? If so, from a practical end users perspective I'd rather loose just a few programs than my entire library if one disk drive fails.

Taking the external drive to another computer or DVR to crack the data or play the program is a significant issue. Current Cableco HD/DVRs reformat the external drive on first connection and lock that drive to the DVR for encryption and data storage. The encrypted data on that drive cannot be read by connecting it to another DVR or a computer. There is some risk here but apparently one the Cablecos can live with for now.


Cheers.
If you stripe across the drives, then you have striped the file system, and removal of one of the drives will likely cause ALL of the data to be unuseable. In a mirror configuration, however, you could removed a drive leaving the box running on a single drive, and then place that mirrored drive in another chassis and fully recover the data. Not sure if swapping drives on a Tivo allows you to actually watch the shows or if they are somehow paired to that unit.
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Old 09-22-2006, 10:29 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicX
Also, you cannot take that drive to another computer and "crack" the file system to copy shows.
I think this is the issue holding up Tivo from releasing eSATA. They don't want an entire HD show stored on the external drive. I think they have to ensure that each show using the external drive is significantly striped across both drives. However, if you stripe all the shows across both drives, then when the external drive is unpluged ALL the shows are gone.

This problem is made worse when the external drive will be 2 or 3 times larger than the internal drive. You still have to store some chunk on that smaller internal drive while maximizing the available storage on the external drive. If the room runs out in the internal drive, do you reshuffle a few shows that were stored only on the internal drive so that they now occupy both drives? Or do you just lie and say there's no more room?

And what happens if the external drive's power isn't there (it has its own power brick), then suddenly returns? People would expect true hot insertion and removal Plug and Play without requiring a Tivo reboot (or maybe Tivo drops this feature).

It's not as easy as it appears, especially with the Linux kernel they're using. Maybe they even have to rewrite parts of the eSATA driver to make it compatible with their kernel.

It's not as easy as it looks.
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